They're temporary bans, people... it's not that big of a deal and it sends a solid message to the affected players. Personally I think Infinity Ward should be handling these bans, not Microsoft... but that might be a limitation with the LIVE platform. I haven't heard of players being banned on a game-by-game basis.
That said, the gamers who play the MW2 legitimately are going to want some semblance of justice, and they get it.
Now if only Microsoft would ban the little homophobic racists that squawk into the mic... then we'd be in business.
Microsoft actually has a reason for doing this (sorta). Your gamertag (profile) has achievements associated with it... markers pointing out accomplishments within games. By using some of these third party products, it was possible to install your profile onto an SD card, and in turn modify that profile on your computer. Why do this? Well... you can adjust your profile to say you've gotten difficult achievements without actually doing it. (e.g.: the 10,000 kill "Seriously..." achievement in Gears of War)
Why do that? Well... you'd have to ask a cheater or someone who really cares about their gamer score.
All that said, the real reason they're doing this is to make you buy their over-priced proprietary memory unit.
Bingo. This is my problem with games going "all digital." If I can't resell it and recoup some of that cost, and the price is the same, what possible incentive do I have to buy the download version instead of a disk version?
And you know, as Rekrul pointed out, the game prices will not be dropped to reflect this change in distribution method and taking away the used game sale.
If Microsoft/Sony started selling 360/PS3 games as digital download in competition with brick and mortar stores, Gamestop and the like will have a huge hissy fit. Imagine, if you will, that Microsoft offers Madden 11 as a digital download for $40 while the disk version costs $60. Just imagine the fallout from the game stores. Honestly though... it kinda needs to happen.
Maybe the track they should be taking is to offer older games as a digital download at prices comparable to the used games. I can drive down to Gamestop and buy Just Cause for $10. Why not offer it up as a download for 800 Microsoft Points?
When are these guys going to learn? If you start a national campaign against file sharing, guess what's going to happen... you're going to draw even MORE attention to file sharing! Let them start a national "education" campaign... heck, let the RIAA run it for all I care.
"File Sharing is WRONG! It's illegal and we'll come down on you hard if you do it! And we all know how easy it is... I mean how hard is it to go to lime wire's website, follow the easy installer, create an account, search for your favorite music and download it at no cost?"
On what grounds? Being beaten by a competitor doesn't mean there's an "unfair business advantage." The closest we're getting in this regard is the patent lawsuits, but the FSF and Microsoft butted heads about that a while back and it ended up being a sort of Cold War patent threat standoff (since both sides have impressive patent portfolios).
If the museum is not run by Pez then they're free to do what they want. The affiliation is there by brand, but not by actual legal ties. So what if a scenario plays out where the Pez museum decides to start putting unofficial Pez-like stuff in there? Especially if it's offensive in nature (just to go ahead and Godwin my own argument, a Hitler pez dispenser). They'd end up having to take the sort of legal action they're taking now, but the "brand damage" would have already been done.
Not a bad point. I'd wager there's a bit more of an understanding with interrupting TV (on the half hour) than video games (by save point) that'll be an ease of conflict thing. It's a lot easier for a parent to know the kid's "show" and tell them to get away from the TV knowing the schedule.
Honestly what parents should be doing with this is setting time limits and having those limits be hardlined. As in, daddy's going to turn the Wii off at 7:30pm and if you didn't budget your time right to hit a save point that's tough.
A friend of mine with a couple younglings doesn't allow TV or video games at all from Sunday at 8pm until Friday when they get home from school. Computer usage for school work is naturally exempt. That might be a little draconian for a teenager, but before that the little squirt should just succumb to your rule ;)
Mark? Is that you? Well "AC" you made the exact same point that Mark made without even coming close to refuting the point of this blog post.
Here... let me sum it up for you in a slightly more bite sized portion (maybe you can tweet it):
1. Just because your service is offered for free does not mean you shouldn't try and make money from some other aspect.
2. The idea that someone will come along and do what you do better and put you out of business is not new, nor unique to free based business models.
Twitter and Facebook are good examples of businesses failing to monetize. However, Google is a big ol' example against your point. And if you want to stick to your news aggregation example, I'm fairly certain Fark turns a profit by offering a "premium" membership over the top of the free one.
If you're going to come in here and refute a point by saying Mark Cuban is the man, at least TRY and address the points made in the blog post.
You set up a straw man and failed to knock it down. I'm impressed, I really am.
If I'm using a free service like GMail and something better comes along (HMail or whatever) and it is also free then I may switch if the benefit is there. The inertia against is, of course, having to move all my contacts learn a new service etc.
If, in this example, HMail costs me $5 a month then the fee is added to the inertia against switching.
Even if you flip that scenario back to your example your point still doesn't hold. If FMail costs $5 a month and I'm using it, and GMail comes along which is free and has more features, the $5 a month savings becomes a force FOR switching (not against). Don't believe me? How many people still have AOL addresses these days? Alright now forget everyone over 50. How many now?
You're confusing automated payment systems as a way to retain customers with the desire to move to bigger and better things. I agree that having an automatic withdrawal of funds for a service makes you less likely to cancel, but I disagree that it also adds against the will do move to a new (free) service that's also better.
It's goofy actually, if you get ticketed by a redlight camera it's a citation, not a moving violation. That's how they get around the face your accuser thing. Running a red light and getting caught by a cop is akin to a speeding ticket... whereas running a red light and getting caught by a camera is more like a parking ticket.